Friday, December 23, 2011

In which I give Nate Silver some advice on election forecasting

We all know that Nate Silver has developed into the gold standard of election forecasting (he even uses the words "political calculus" in his tag line - that's enough to scare off any novice who wants to challenge him). The tools Nate uses are things like polls and complicated mathematical formulas. That seems to work for him, but I think he's missing some important data that could up his game. So I thought I'd lend a hand in helping him predict what's going to happen in the 2012 presidential election.

Data Point 1

According to research, only 10% of the population is left-handed. And yet five of our last 7 presidents have been left-handed. What are the odds of that happening? I think I'll let Nate figure that one out.

So its stands to reason that a contender that is left-handed has a MUCH higher chance of winning again this time. Lets look at the candidates:

Mitt Romney - no

Newt Gingrich - no

Ron Paul - no

Rick Perry - no

President Obama - bing-bing-bing...we have a winner!

Data Point 2

While its true that half of the world's population is female, a MUCH smaller number of people have daughters. An even smaller number currently have teenage daughters. And yet five of our last 7 presidents have had teenage daughters while in the White House. What are the odds of that happening Nate?

So once again, lets check in with the candidates:

Mitt Romney - WAY too much testosterone here - so a really big NO

Newt Gingrich - This one gets a little complicated. So lets just say no and leave it at that.

Ron Paul - We know he has one son that runs amok in Congress. But overall, I'd say we can just call him "Grandpa" and say no.

Rick Perry - Interesting that there aren't more family photos from him. Kinda makes you wonder why. But this one is from back in 2000. So its a no.

President Obama - bing, bing, bing...we have a winner!

So...based on my thorough analysis, I'd say that Barack Obama has a 99.9% chance of winning re-election in 2012 (check my numbers Nate).



  1. Haha. That's a good one... But here's something that's perhaps more telling.

    The GOP has been counting on my home state to flip, but I knew it wouldn't be as easy as they think. Now, the polls are starting to show this. If not even their "Great White Hope" Romney can beat Obama here in Nevada, or in Colorado, Virginia, or Florida for that matter, what makes the media pundits think the GOP can beat Obama nationally?

    (Btw, I'm a long time fan... And I think, first time commenter. Great job with the blog!) :-)

  2. atdnext - Of course I'm just having a little fun here.

    But you're absolutely right. Between President Obama's type of campaign, the changing demographics, and Republican nativism, the playing field is going to be up for grabs in a big way.

  3. Samrtypants - your analysis works for me! It was always said that the taller of the two candidates always wins, but I think Carter broke that streak. Anyway, isn't the president taller than any of the challengers? We should check and factor that in. These are ALL compelling reasons why Obama will be re-elected. Oh - and that "smartest guy in the room" thingy...

  4. Anonymous

    We're going to have to keep that height thing to ourselves. I just checked and Romney is an inch taller. But I'd say that's more than compensated for by the fact that I'm sure Obama would beat him at a game of 1:1 basketball...oh, and that "smartest guy in the room" thingy.


  5. Haha...that's clever, Smarty!

  6. Pretty sure that the guy who can play the best game of H.O.R.S.E. wins every time, too. Nate...check the figures.

    Love poking fun at Nate...this is perfect, Smartypants. Happy Holidays, luv.

  7. :). Very clever. Pity nate has gone corporate.

    @atdnext - How is it going in Nevada ?


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